S+L logo

Lent Support Group

March 9, 2009
sup.jpgThis year some friends and I decided to have a Lent Support Group. Our reasoning was that it's really easy to forget or slip up on our Lenten promises when it's just between me and God....yes, he sees all but he can't exactly smack your hand when you reach for the chocolate or shoot you a dirty look when you complain about your sister-in-law. That doesn't mean not complaining or walking past the chocolate is any more pleasant, it's just easier to stick to it when you know that first thing in the morning someone at the office will ask you "So?" or after dinner someone will call wanting to know how the non-complaining went today. The other key component in this support group is the support. E-mails fly back and forth across the continent in this support group with inspirational messages, guidance, and words to meditate on.
In the last one of these e-mails one of my friends shared her experience and unwittingly helped me refocus on my intent to be penitent this Lent. She said that she was really struggling with her Lenten promise. The habit she was giving up was so ingrained in her, or more accurately, so easy to slip into thoughtlessly that she kept catching herself doing and saying that which she promised she would not. Instead of beating herself up over it she would catch herself in those moments and redirect her attention, saying to God, "That's enough of me talking, what's up Lord?" and fill that time and energy that would normally be wasted on useless complaining with attention to God.
I see the genius in her tactic (okay, it wasn't her idea, it was divinely inspired). Firstly, if you redirect yourself to God every time you slip up - let's be honest- you're going to be talking to Him more or less every 15 to 20 minutes. In daily life when you talk to someone every 15 to 20 minutes we call that a relationship. Now do the math; if you talk to God (and by "talk" I mean turn to him and say "I've talked too much, you talk now") every 20 minutes, daily for forty days ,by the end of those 40 days you're in a serious relationship. (N.B. this logic and 40 day time-line does not necessarily apply equally to human relationships. But you get the picture) THAT is the whole point of Lent; growth through the pruning of our dead ends and redirecting of our energy from negative stuff towards placing ourselves in God's presence.
We don't need to beat ourselves up for our failures and false-starts because we are only human. We just need to make an honest attempt, redirect ourselves, refocus the lens on the camera, say "your turn!" and He will step in and do the rest. That's the miracle of Lent.
Related posts
"My bags are packed and I’m ready to go." <br> 10 Quotes from St. John XXIII
Beginning today, the casket containing the remains of St. John XXIII will arrive in Bergamo & the town of Sotto il Monte for an 18-day pilgrimage. Here are ten quotes that give some insight into the g ...read more
St. Pope John the 23rd is on the move. This morning, a ceremony at St.Peter's Bascilica, kicked off a pilgrimage of sorts for the remains of the former Pope saint to Sotto il Monte, where he was born ...read more
Several members of the Catholic Register's Youth Speak News team came to Salt + Light TV's studio for their annual retreat and training seminar, where they learned the art of news broadcasting. Take ...read more
Here are the main stories that we cover on today’s edition of Perspectives Daily! 1. Summary of the pope’s address during his weekly general audience. 2. Plenary indulgences for those atte ...read more
Phyllis Zagano on the Met “Catholic” exhibit
Phyllis Zagano, senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, reflects on the Met "Catholic" exhibit. ...read more